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Ranj Cheema's Letter to the Court

Ranj Cheema's Letter to the Court

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Published by The Vancouver Sun

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Published by: The Vancouver Sun on May 02, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2013

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RANJIT CHEEMA
August 21, 2008Stephen V. WilsonUnited States District JudgeUnited States District Court312 North Spring StreetLos Angeles, CA 90012Your Honor,I came to Canada with my family in October of 1978, at the age of 10 fromEngland, after emigrating there from India. The following year, my mother startedtaking me to the farms to pick berries as a laborer. I did this from the ages of 10 to15, every summer break. I worked a janitorial job at night for a few hours whilegoing to high school. I grew up in a lower class family, financially. My father wasan alcoholic throughout my growing up. He was hard working and never missed aday of work in his life. When he drank on weekends, he was violent and abusivetoward the family.I always held in high esteem the things that money will bring you. That’swhy I have worked hard did all sorts of jobs growing up to achieve my goals tohave better life. I graduated from high school in 1986. I then took a securitycourse, and did security work for ten months before starting college.
Case 2:98-cr-00119-SVW Document 150-8 Filed 08/21/08 Page 1 of 5 Page ID #:356
 
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Hon Stephen V. WilsonIn college, I enrolled in the criminal justice program to get into lawenforcement. Later, to earn extra money, I worked as a bouncer at night clubs onweekends. In 1995, I bought a highway truck and bought in with a company thathad long haul work.However, in August of that same year, I was shot multiple times at a club,and almost died. I was in a coma for a six weeks. During such time, my motherwas sick in the hospital, suffering from Hepatitis. Prior to this incident, I was abody builder, weighing 248 pounds. As a result of the shooting, and my lengthyhospital stay, I lost over 100 pounds. My recovery was very difficult; I am stillliving with the complications of the shooting to this day.Following my release from the hospital, I fell into a deep depression,suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome. I started self-medicating bydrinking and using cocaine. I started hanging around the wrong kind of peoplewho were into that life-style. At that time, I was at the lowest point of my life andin a downward spiral. It was around this time that I got into doing a deal with thePakistanis (Amir Bajwa and Mr. Yusof Khan). I got into this deal to make quicmoney to support my drug habit and affluent life-style. This was the life I led.
Case 2:98-cr-00119-SVW Document 150-8 Filed 08/21/08 Page 2 of 5 Page ID #:357
 
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Hon. Stephen V. WilsonIn 1998, I was arrested on the charges that bring me before you. This was arude awakening for me. Later that same year, I was placed on home confinement.I was immediately humbled by the public humiliation of being arrested andincarcerated. I experienced great personal losses as a result. I lost my house, mytrucking business and my reputation in the trucking industry and I lost the respectof my community. I put my wife and my family through great grief andembarrassment, especially my parents in their golden years. I became financiallyindebted to my family for my legal fees. Lots of family and friends stopped talkingto me and my family. Everyone in our community knew about my situation andthey wanted nothing to do with my family. The East Indian community is verytightly knit in Vancouver.The conditions my home confinement were strict and restrictive. In 1999, Ileased two tow trucks and started working with a company that had a city contract.I had a driver on the trucks and I tried to manage the business. After two years, mybiggest fear was realised. The company found out about my charges and asked meto leave. I ended up losing the trucks because there was not enough work elsewhere.
Case 2:98-cr-00119-SVW Document 150-8 Filed 08/21/08 Page 3 of 5 Page ID #:358

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